September 1356. All over France, towns are closing their gates. Crops are burning, and through-out the countryside people are on the alert for danger. The English army¿led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince is set to invade, while the French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down. But what if there was a weapon that could decide the outcome of the imminent war? Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to uncover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the weapon, too, and so Thomas's quest will be thwarted at every turn by battle and betrayal, by promises made and oaths broken. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his troop of archers and men-at-arms, his enemies, and the fate of the sword converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism. Rich with colorful characters, great adventure, and thrilling conflict, 1356 is a magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history may culminate in an epic struggle.